I assume you’ve heard the phrase, “House Rich, Cash Poor.” It refers to the idea that someone’s overstepped their family’s finances when it comes to purchasing a home, meaning a lot of money is tied up in real estate and leaving them little liquid assets. I swore I’d never fall into that “Cash Poor” category, and even with the purchase of our new house, I’ve managed to live up to my word.

Unfortunately, nobody told me that a trip to Disney World could leave my family just as cash strapped as buying a too-big, too-expensive home.

Don’t get me wrong; a trip to Disney was in my family’s vacation budget. We’d planned – meticulously – for this trip for about a year (almost as soon as we got back from our¬†last¬†Disney trip in 2012) before actually turning our dreams into a reality. And we’ve got some really good deals, too; but therein lies the problem. That’s because in our attempt to get the best deals, we’ve ended up putting a lot of money down up front, even though our trip is still months away. In other words, all our cash is tied up in a vacation to Florida that we won’t even get to enjoy until weeks and weeks (and weeks!) from now.

On one hand, I like that everything will be paid for – including just about all of our food and souvenirs, which I’ve bought online at a discount – in advance. We’ve even paid for groceries to be delivered to our hotel room, so we won’t have to pay for snacks or breakfast during our trip. Each kid will be bringing some birthday and Christmas money they’ve saved up to pay for any must-have souvenirs; other than that, I anticipate spending less than $100 out of pocket for the whole week.

But until then, I keep freaking out when I see how small my checking account looks right now; we’re definitely “Disney Rich, Cash Poor.” I know that once the vacation comes and we don’t have anything else to pay for, my bank account will be happy (and growing steadily), but for now, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve made a mistake!

So therein lies my question for all of you: have you ever purchased something that’s left you “Cash Poor”? How did it make you feel? Were you able to recoup your losses?

Libby Balke

Libby Balke